A Challenging Day!
Post date: Dec 03, 2018 11:19:18 AM
The fifth round of the DMYC-hosted Frostbites provided the fleet with the most challenging conditions yet and even then what was forecast didn’t really materialise. On Friday at the Fireball dinner and prize-giving the speculation was that we mightn’t get out at all. At that stage the forecast was for 6 knots gusting to 30 knots. On Saturday the harbour was reduced to mirror-like conditions, but the forecast for Sunday was starting to show that there would be wind the following day with the base wind strengthening but the gusts staying as severe as before. An early reconnaissance of the harbour in the committee boat suggested that the forecast conditions weren’t in place and the wind was blowing at 12 knots. At the stage of the check on the conditions, the wind direction was 240⁰, but when we went out to set up the race course the wind had changed to a median direction of 180⁰ and the strength was showing signs of dropping.
This also meant that the original plan – to have a windward –leeward course to open proceedings, across the harbour in on east-west axis had to be abandoned in favour of an Olympic course with a weather mark situated to the west of the old HSS berth. That left the leeward mark sitting just inside of but in the middle of the harbour mouth and the gybe mark in towards the middle of the harbour.
Race Officer Cormac Bradley set a three-lapper for the first race and the PY fleets and Laser Radials both enjoyed clean starts. However, the combined Laser and 4.7 fleet found themselves in trouble with the Race Officer again, with another General Recall resulting in a restart under a black flag. Surprisingly………or not, the youngsters in the fleet were the principal culprits in “jumping the gun”.
In the PY fleet, Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (15061) led the fleet out to the left hand-side of the beat before working their way back to the right hand-side for the final approach to the weather mark on the starboard lay-line. A newcomer to the front end of the fleet was Dave Turner, sailing with Fireball stalwart “Cas” who rounded in second place. In close company was the remainder of the Fireball fleet, Phil Lawton & Owen Laverty (14990), Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (14706), Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775), the Thompson brothers (15007), another newcomer to the fleet, Josh, sailing with Class Chairman, Neil Cramer, in Frank Miller’s boat (14713) and Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (14691). Also enjoying a place well up the pecking order on the water \was Shane McCarthy in the Solo. The Wayfarers had three boats on the water but their “champion” was in trouble with a premature start which necessitated going back – with the standard round the ends rule applying.
For the remainder of the race, an extended game of snakes and ladders was played with Turner falling to last at one stage. While Butler & Oram won on the water, they didn’t do enough time-wise to fend off McCarthy in the Solo who took another handicap win, followed home by Butler & Oram and Olympian Phil Lawton crewed by Owen Laverty, for whom this was enough to take the Frostbite Mug. Behind them the “new” Fireball combination of Josh and Neil Cramer came fourth, followed by the RS 200 of Sarah Byrne. The KONA Windsurfers were separated by a second in 6th and 7th respectively.
In the Laser fleets, race wins went to Niall Cowman (Standard), Conor Gorman (4.7s) and Finn Walker (Radials). Conor Kinsella, a very successful Fireball crew in recent times, made his Frostbite debut in a Laser Radial and finished just behind another class stalwart in Shirley Gilmore.
Given the prevailing conditions, of good breeze and a bright sky another Olympic was set, this time with four laps. However, the breeze soon increased as a rain shower made its presence felt and while the race course was on the fringe of the storm, a high wind speed of just under 20 knots was recorded. It also started flicking more significantly but the mean direction was still close enough to the original position of the weather mark. Yet again in the PY fleet, Butler & Oram were the boat to chase on the water, but Lawton and Laverty made it a much tighter chase with only 16 seconds separating them at the finish. McCarthy came home 4:16 behind Butler & Oram but on corrected time this was converted into a 57-second win. Court & Syme were an OCS who didn’t go back, while Tom Murphy in the K1 was a similar transgressor, who did take his punishment and went back to restart. The strengthening wind made for some interesting off-wind legs and a few of the Fireballs had “technical issues” as a consequence.
In the Laser fleets, wins were shared by Alan Hodgins (Standard), Alana Coakley (4.7s) and Conrad Vandlik (Radials). As the afternoon progressed the skies got greyer and it started raining making it the least comfortable afternoon of the series thus far. But after two races of the Olympic configuration there were no loud complaints about the day’s proceedings.
With two Sundays left before the Christmas break, the overall situation in the three classes is as follows;